Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

Keep These Items On Hand For Entertaining Your Guests.

In etiquette, how to, lifestyle on February 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm


Be the host with the most by keeping these entertaining ideas in mind.

Gong out with your best friends is always a fun thing to do – gathering at your favorite restaurant and catching up over a delicious meal is always something to look forward to without worrying yourself about the details of your evening.  But what about those times you want to get together in your home?  What details do you consider to ensure your guests have a good time when they are in your home?  Whether you are hosting an impromptu gathering of friends unexpectedly “just stopping by” or having a more formal get together, there are some pantry staples to keep on hand (or at least top of mind) to make entertaining a breeze.  Ahead are ideas for items you can pick up at your local market to make your get together fun, festive and delicious!

Wine, Champagne, Sparkling Water/Juice. In addition to always having water nearby, these particular beverages speak sophistication and can enhance the flavor of the items you serve your guests.

Popcorn.  Great for impromptu gatherings and easy to prepare, popcorn is the perfect snack without a ton of calories.  Sprinkle on a mixture of various seasonings to take your popcorn to the next level.  Give the following recipes a try:  a little olive oil, paprika, oregano, parsley, seasoned salt, chili powder and parmesan cheese.  Tortillas and salsa are also great options.

Crudite Platter.  Generally speaking, crudite platters usually consist of various vegetables.  Be creative and include various cheeses, meats,crackers/bread, fruit as well as hummus (or dip) and fruit spread.

Frozen Ravioli/Various Sauces.  Keeping these items on hand can make food prep a breeze.  Serve with salad and baguette.

Assorted Nuts and Chocolates.  Accessible at your local grocery store.  More variety and fun with a monthly subscription box or on .

Ice Cream/Gellato.  Perfect to end the night.  Serve with coffee, berries, nuts, etc.

Candles/Flowers.  Perfect for the entryway and area where you are entertaining to create ambiance.

Serving Trays.  Serving trays make you and everything you serve look classy and elegant, even if you are serving pigs in a blanket while in sweatpants.

Music Playlist.  Create more ambiance with a continuous stream of great music which is easy to achieve with Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music.

What items do you keep on hand to entertain guests?  Do you always have a pantry stocked with a few essentials, rush out in in a hurry to grab a few things to eat or do you leave your guests to fend for themselves?  Please share below.





Tips For Hosting Overight Guests

In etiquette, how to, lifestyle on February 25, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Usually there is nothing more exciting than having your favorite people visit you from out of town.  When you have guests coming to stay with you for the weekend, you want to make their visit as pleasurable as possible.  And while you don’t have to do a home makeover, you want to make sure you extend the same hospitality and grace that you would like to have extended to you.  With the following tips and some planning, you can ensure that you an your guests have a wonderful extended time together.

First things first – figure out where your guest is going to sleep.  If you have a spare room, this won’t be too much of an issue.  If you live in an apartment, chances are your guest will sleep on the couch or on an air mattress.  Wherever your guest is going to sleep, make sure the area is comfortable, that the area has curtains/blinds and that you have provided pillows, clean linen, a blanket, waste basket and a cleared shelf or table for their use.  You can also provide bedside emergency such as a box of tissue, pain killers and antacids just in case.

Double check dates and times of arrivals, departures as well as length of visit.  If you are picking your guest up from the airport (train/bus station), make sure you have the correct location.  Nothing is worse than being on time at the wrong place.  I know.  I’ve done that.

If you have a driveway and your guest is driving to your home, save your best parking spot for them.  If you live in the city where parking is often difficult to find, let your guests know where and when to park.

Explain the quirks of your place and show your guest where everything is.  You have lived in your place for some time so you know how everything works.  You know about that toilet handle you have to jiggle and the door you have to lift and pull in order to close.  Make sure you pass this information on to your guests to save them the agony and possible embarrassment of fumbling around your home.

Stock up on toiletries and create a landing space for your guests things in the bathroom.  Usually guests bring their own personal items but it is always nice to provide a nice basket filled with body wash, unscented body lotion, toothbrush as well as a towel, washcloth, loofah, etc.  Also, make sure there is enough toilet tissue, and keep a toilet brush and a plunger nearby.

Keep a loose schedule so your guests have time to breathe, especially when they first arrive.  If your guest is in town to visit you specifically, you can always plan for activities ahead of time by asking what your guest wants to do.  If your guest is in town for business,  discuss your schedules in advance and make sure they have access into and out of your place.

Make sure your guest has your wifi access, any access codes to get into and out of your building.  Also make sure they know how to work the heater/air conditioner, remote controls and provide an extra power strip so they can plug up their computer, phone, etc.

Plan meals ahead of time and make sure you have something for your guest to snack on when they arrive.  If you can, go out to dinner one of the days your guest is in town.  Also, you can do some crock pot meals so that you don’t have to spend all of your time cooking. In addition, stock your fridge and pantry with goodies such as fruit, cheese, veggies, cold cuts, condiments, bread, pasta salad, crackers and chips that will be easy for you and your guest to fix meals and snacks.  And don’t forget the wine (or sparkling soda), juice and water.

What has been your experience with hosting or being an overnight guest in someone’s home?






Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Needs In Her Closet

In fashion, how to on February 24, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Have you ever looked in your closet and felt like you had a closet full of nothing to wear?  Perhaps you had an event or appointment to attend and an in a panic went shopping for the “right” outfit.  We have all been there.

Having key pieces of clothing in your wardrobe can be the difference between feeling like you have nothing to wear and feeling (and being) ready for anything.  The right pieces increase wardrobe functionality as well as creativity when planning outfits.

Continue reading to find out 10 essentials to add to your wardrobe.

  • Jumpsuit.  This one piece is a staple which can be styled multiple ways, and, depending on the material, can be worn year round.  Pair it with a blazer for work or strappy sandal for a night out on the town.
  • Lightweight Blazer.  Great for layering over a sheath dress or for wearing with a t-shirt and jeans.  A tuxedo styled blazer adds instant elegance if you are heading out after work or if you prefer to wear something that is edgy yet professional.
  • The LBD (Little Black Dress).  It goes without saying that having an LBD (or two) in your closet will keep you ready for a multitude of occasions.  A style such as the wrap dress is simple yet elegant and is flattering on most body types.
  • Dark Wash Jeans.  Creates a look that is polished and can take you from casual to elegant depending on what you pair them with.  Keep it simple by avoiding distressed styles which can distract from a clean, polished look.  Pair with a chic blazer or blouse for work and a sequinned top and stilettos for a night out on the town.  If you want an option that is more dressy, consider a high rise, flare leg silhouette in a more flowy denim material.
  • Basic White T-Shirt/Tank top/blouse.  These are great foundation pieces which can be worn with many things.  Add one in a silky material or with some embellishment for an elevated look.  Other basic colors to include in your wardrobe:  black, grey, and cream.
  • Pencil Skirt.  A simple piece, which is forgiving on most body types, can be paired with a multitude of pieces including tank tops, sweaters, and blazers.
  • Black Trousers.  Great option that can also take you from work to play, paired with a blazer, T-shirt and accessories.  Also great if skirts aren’t your thing.
  • Pump.  A simple pump can take you from work to play and can be paired with almost anything. A platform pump is a great middle ground and creates great structure for multitude of looks, including wide leg pants.
  • Loafer. An excellent alternative if heels are not your thing or for when you cant take another step in those pumps.  Opt for loafers in various skins (alligator), colors such as oxblood or even leopard print which can add a little pizzazz to an otherwise neutral outfit.
  • Tote Bag and Clutch.  A roomy, well constructed tote bag is essential for carrying your belongings while on the go.  A basic clutch is the perfect add on for when you don’t want to carry everything you normally carry in your tote or for when you need to make that quick transition from work to play.

What wardrobe pieces do you consider to be essential?

Make A Personal Revolution With Non Resolutions

In how to, lifestyle on February 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

Set yourself up for success with these non-resolution tips.

Ok.  So it is not really the beginning of a new year per se.  As a matter of fact, we are quickly approaching the end of the first quarter of 2018. Perhaps you started off the new year on fire with changes you wanted to make in your life such as getting fit, eating healthier or staying in touch with loved ones and you are still going strong.  Perhaps you started strong and have reverted back to your old ways.  If you fall in the latter category, it’s ok because it’s never too late to hit that restart button.  Continue reading for a few tips on how to make lifestyle changes without waiting until New Years or other major milestone dates.

  • Don’t wait until January 1.  Many people like to clean slate it because they want to make a fresh start so they will wait until a major date like January 1st to make major changes.  Now (or any time) is a good time to start.  By taking baby steps you will take the frenzy and pressure out of starting a new habit the first of the year. It also will give you a feeling of accomplishment and power/control knowing that you didn’t wait for a particular date to make a change.  Start at any time – such as now.
  • Realize it takes time to create new habits.  At the beginning of the year, many people make rigid plans to go cold turkey with stopping or starting a new habit:  Stop smoking.  Start saving.  Bring lunch to work.  Stop eating meat.  Get fit.  However these rigid plans can quickly lead to feeling defeated.  Remember, this is a process of breaking an old habit as you create the habit a new habit.  For instance, if you want to stop eating meat, commit eating meatless 3 days out of the week.  When you get used to that, add that 4th day.   By realizing this is a journey and that it takes time, you will be more likely to be gentle with yourself whenever you hit a roadblock.
  • Have a plan in place.  Your plan is your road map to success.  This will help guide you in the direction you want to go in.
  • Don’t depend on inspiration or motivation but rather discipline. These two feeling usually won’t show up for your 4am workout but discipline will.  There will be days when you just won’t feel like doing what it is you need to.  This is when you have to remember the commitment you have made to yourself.  It takes more than good intention to stick with a new habit.
  • Write it down.  Keep a journal to track your progress and how you are feeling about the goal you have set for yourself.  It will be a wonderful reminder of where you have come from and motivation for where you are going.
  • Have an accountability partner.  Your accountability partner should be someone who has the same/similar goals AND the same level of commitment as you do.  This is important because unless you are self-motivated, an accountability partner will be able to share in your triumphs and opportunities as well as encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up.

Are you still on track with the goals you set before or at the beginning of the year or have you fallen off?  If you have fallen off, what is your plan of action to get back on track?  Share your thoughts and ideas below.

Lower Your Voice

In etiquette, how to, lifestyle on February 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

So I’m on the train, listening to my music, enjoying my commute but suddenly finding it rather difficult to be at peace because the passenger behind me insists on having a very loud conversation.  The conversation had no end in site and my ears began to bleed because I turned my music up to drown their voice out.

How many times have you been in a public place like the airport, doctor’s office or even a restaurant and have been forced to listen to someone’s loud telephone conversation?  Said offender just rambles on and on about whatever, disturbing the peace without any consideration for the people around them.

Or is it you? Are you the perpetrator. The one who just won’t at least lower their voice while in a public space.  Honestly no one cares about the sordid details of your life.

Now I’m not saying don’t talk on the phone and I won’t get into a long diatribe about social responsibility and manners (at least not now).  And I get it, some conversations are important and need to take place while you are out and about so consider the following when you are on the phone:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and lower your voice.
  • If you are using earbuds/earphones, you may not even realize how loud your voice is so take a bud out of one ear.
  • You may even try cupping your mouth as you speak.  I know, it’s kind of weird but it works.  I once sat next to a gentleman who was on the phone the entire commute and could barely hear him talk because he had cupped his mouth.  Now maybe he was talking about something top secret – who cares.  Point is a measure was taken so as not to really be heard by anyone except the person he was directly speaking to.
  • If possible, excuse yourself and go somewhere more private.
  • Tell the person you will call them back.

Hopefully these few tips will cause you to be more mindful when you take a phone call in public.  If you have loud people in your life, perhaps a sibling, cousin, best friend, enemy, make sure they read this :0)